Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Me, A Runner?

I ran my 10k on Saturday with 6,000+ other women, that's me on the left, top row.  The energy was amazing and there were runners of all ages there.  I still am sometimes surprised to hear myself described as an athlete and/or a runner.  I was overweight and out of shape when I was in my late 20's.  I started exercising and was faithful to the gym and working out.  But running?  Nope, not me.  If you chased me I'd run but I really had no interest in it.

When I did finally give it a try I was pleased with my results.  I hit my goal weight and was running about 3 miles 3 times a week.  Then my chiropractor told me to stop, it was hurting my knees and lower back.  I listened because what did I know?  Now I know I could do exercises to strengthen my quads, hips and core.  I no longer get much back or knee pain from running.

Then when I was 40 I was bored and looking for a new challenge.  I signed on with Team in Training and started training for a half-marathon.  Yes, when I put my mind to something I jump right in.  I didn't like running even then.  I'd listen to music, say some mantras, talk to fellow runners, and occasionally curse - anything to get me through the damn thing.

But you know, my legs looked good and my butt was up where it belonged.  I tend to have pancake butt so that made me especially happy.  Walking hills was becoming very easy, as did running for the bus.  The bus driver even asked me if I had run track in school.  I explained that I was a newer runner but had been training with a coach.  He told me he could tell because my form was very good.  So I kept running, hey - vanity is a powerful motivator.

After I completed my half-marathon I liked running.  I started running for a challenge and to raise money for cancer patients but I had gained so much.  I had more self-esteem, I knew if I could run 13.1 miles I could do almost anything.  My body looked and felt better, I had more energy, and my thinking was clearer when I ran.  Exercise stimulates new brain cell growth and it also stimulates the area of the brain where problem solving occurs.  No wonder I was able to work things out when I ran.

Now when I am unable to run I get bummed out.  My husband just looked at me the first time I complained about being unable to go for a run.  Then he asked me if I ever thought I would be the woman who was annoyed because she couldn't run.  No, no I never imagined those words coming out of my mouth.  And now? There are days when the run isn't great and I can't wait for it to be finished.  I think about what I did that maybe hindered my run and change it for the next time.  But most days, I love to be out and running.

What exercise works best for you?  What gets you excited to be moving?

Need some help figuring out a fitness program or what to eat when working out?  Send me an email, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, and together we can come up with a plan that works just for you.


  1. Janine:

    I love to read your posts...today with the rain I am tempted to skip Bikram but now I feel motivated...Thanks

  2. I'm glad you're enjoying the posts! The heat of Bikram might be nice today since it's rainy and cool out.